Moneygall holds early celebration of Obama win


The people of Moneygall in Co Offaly were already celebrating last night though hours before Barack Obama's victory in the US presidential election, writes Ronan McGreevyin Moneygall.

Ever since diligent research by local Church of Ireland priest Stephen Neill revealed the improbable link between Mr Obama and his great-great-great grandfather Fulmouth Kearney who left Moneygall in 1850, they were preparing for an epic night, and it isn't the first one they've had this week.

Moneygall might geographically be in Offaly, but spiritually and sportingly it is in Tipperary and the junior hurlers were still celebrating the club's first ever county title which they won at the death by a point on Sunday.

The global and the parochial gathered in Hayes' pub in the village last night, the epicentre of the expected celebrations for an Obama win.

The cup nestled under an American flag and the walls of the pub, one of only two in the village, were plastered with Obama posters.

For many the celebrations were simply a continuation from the all night Sunday and all day Monday routine which follows a historic county final win.

The Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys made an appearance singing that song There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama.If you haven't heard it yet, you may hear nothing else for the next four years.

Among those who turned out last night were Henry Healy who counts himself as Mr Obama's ninth cousin and he's not the only one. Along with his brother and four sisters, he has cousins in Kilkenny, Carlow, Laois and Tipperary who are also similarly related to Mr Obama. It will be some homecoming if the putative next president of the United States ever does get around to coming to Ireland.

Mr Healy said he intended to contact Taoiseach Brian Cowen this morning and ask him to invite Mr Obama to Ireland. Hours later, Mr Cowen did just that.